A Snapshot of How New Jersey’s Working Parents Managed Work, School, and Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic
New brief describes the experiences of a group of New Jersey working parents and their opinions of the policies and supports offered by their employers and school districts during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about unprecedented challenges for families, impacting the economic, psychological, and social well-being of parents and their children since the first cases of the virus were reported in the United States in March 2020, with the brunt of these effects felt by the nation’s working parents. In March 2022, researchers at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey sought to document the experiences of working parents/guardians during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, and the challenges they faced in trying to balance their work lives and the schooling of their children.
The Heldrich Center partnered with the New Jersey Parent Teacher Association to conduct 10 in-depth qualitative interviews of working parents of elementary school children (kindergarten through fifth grade) to better understand the firsthand experience of working parents of school-age children during the pandemic. This brief, A Snapshot of How New Jersey’s Working Parents Managed Work, School, and Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic, is a contribution to the larger body of research about working parents’ experiences during COVID-19 and how worker-centric employment policies, and family-centric education policies, contribute to more positive outcomes overall for workers, their families, and employers in the future.
The brief was written by Heldrich Center research staff Laurie Harrington, Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation; Jessica Starace, Research Associate; and Brittney Donovan, Research Project Assistant.